Thursday, October 13, 2011

Innovative solar program in New Jersey

Purchasing solar panels, even despite the recent drop in prices and helpful rebates from the state still presents a rather expensive venture to many people with typical costs climbing up to tens of thousands of dollars. Therefore it is always more than welcome when some company comes up with the innovative ideas that would save customers lot of money while still providing them with clean, renewable energy.

This is exactly what New Jersey Resources (NJR) plans to do after announcing the launch of its first solar program that should provide customers with solar panels with no upfront, installation or maintenance costs and make renewable energy more cost-competitive and accessible.

According to this innovative solar program the NJR Home Services, an unregulated subsidiary of New Jersey Resources, will lease solar panels to homeowners for approximately $52 per month for a six-kilowatt system over a 20-year period. That monthly rate is fixed over the life of the lease and includes all installation and maintenance costs. Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of NJR, said that this is only the initial program, and that they will continue to look for new opportunities in the solar energy market to help customers save money and energy and to also meet New Jersey's state's renewable energy goals in the process.

To be eligible for this solar program home must have a south facing roof in order to get the most available sunlight (though as NJR said southeast to southwest facing roofs may be also acceptable). The roof area must be clear of shading and the roof must be  newly built (no more than five years old) in order for the life of the lease to coincide with the average life of a roof.

New Jersey State is already one of the nation's clean energy leaders, and innovative programs like this one will not only help customers to save their money and lower their energy bills but will also make state's energy portfolio more diversified, with bigger share of renewable energy.

Solar energy is important part of New Jersey's clean energy plan, and New Jersey is in fact second ranked U.S. state in installed solar capacity, behind the untouchable California, with approximately 70 MW of installed solar capacity. With innovative solar programs like this one solar energy will become even more popular renewable energy source in this small U.S. state.

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